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Video transcription

Hi, I'm Pete Lichau. I'm head trainer at Rose Gate Farm. Today we're going to talk about how to desensitize your horse to the sound of a tractor. The materials you'll use for this video are: a halter, an approximately twelve foot lead line, a round pen, a tractor, approximately six foot bamboo pole. First of all, I would gently walk my horse up to the tractor while it wasn't running and, using my bamboo pole and my hand, top on the tractor in various places to make sure the horse is used to the sound and be comfortable with the sound of the metal clanging, because as a tractor runs you can count on that to be happening. Next, I would walk away and have somebody start the tractor. Once the tractor's started, using the bamboo pole again, I would encourage my horse to walk up the tractor himself. Once he's comfortable with that, again I'll use the pole or my hand and tap on the tractor in various places to assure that he's still comfortable with that sound. The next part of this procedure, I would put the horse in a round pen and gently drive the tractor around the horse, first using wide sweeping areas with the tractor until I could narrow it down, and the entire time really paying attention to that horse's reaction. The key here is not to have him to be afraid of the tractor, but to have him study the tractor and know that it isn't going to harm him. So, lastly, understand that these procedures... they shouldn't be considered as a one-day session. This should happen over a period of time and you'll have to know your horse well enough to know how long it will take for him to get used to each one of these steps. I'm Pete Lichau at head trainer, Rose Gate Farm, and that's how I would desensitize my horse to a tractor.